Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Feds ditch bird poisoning plan; public input sought on plover protection

Feds ditch bird poisoning plan; public input sought on plover protection - Grant Scott-Goforth/The Times-Standard

After public outcry, a proposal to protect threatened snowy plovers on Clam Beach by poisoning egg-gobbling predators was withdrawn Tuesday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

”That didn't seem to fly -- no pun intended -- with the public,” Fish and Wildlife Field Supervisor Nancy Finley said of the plan to use an avicide called DRC-1339 to kill corvids -- crows and ravens -- that preyed on plover eggs.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Arcata Community Forest additions underway; Ridge Trail will link them up

The city of Arcata has broken ground on two major new sections of trails in the Arcata Community Forest, which will eventually be used by hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. - Luke Ramseth/The Times-Standard

”(The community forest) is not new for us, but it's expanding in an exciting way,” said Mark Andre, Arcata's Environmental Services director. In 1979, Arcata approved a “Multiple Use Management Plan” initiative, which led the forest to look much like it does currently -- a series of multi-use trails over an area of approximately 800 acres.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

U.S. Fish & Wildlife: Save the Plovers, Kill the Ravens

Oh, the snowy plover. Such a wee bird to trigger such a spectrum of emotion. At yesterday’s Humboldt County Board of Supervisors’ meeting, reactions to a plan to poison plover predators ranged from concern to outrage. - Jennifer Savage/Lost Coast Outpost

Supervisor Mark Lovelace pressed for more project specifics before agreeing to support the poisoning plan. Before introducing poison into the environment, “we need to have an actual plan to consider,” he said. He made a motion to have Fish and Wildlife staff return with a draft plan that would include the details of the poison’s effectiveness elsewhere.

No one seconded.

Supes delay decision on Clam Beach bird poisoning proposal

A proposal from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to poison predatory birds that are harming the snowy plover population on Clam Beach was met with hesitation Tuesday by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. - Megan Hansen/The Times-Standard

Local Fish and Wildlife biologist Jim Watkins requested support Tuesday from the board on behalf of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for permission to conduct a research experiment on the county's land at Clam Beach. He said ravens and crows, known as corvids, are eating Pacific Coast western snowy plover eggs and chicks at the beach. The plovers are a small shorebird that was listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 1993.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Bay {T}rail Plan

We Have a Plan - Judy Hodgson/North Coast Journal

The plan includes three things Bay Trail Advocates support: A Class I bicycle-and-pedestrian trail around northern Humboldt Bay; some improvements to the existing track between Samoa and Arcata so THA can run a tourist train; and support for THA's proposed Redwood Heritage Museum.

The trail would start in Eureka behind Target, run north along the waterfront through Arcata and end at Timber Heritage's leased property behind the Samoa Cookhouse, where historic train and logging equipment is stored. The trail could be built within the North Coast Railroad Authority's right-of-way -- a rails-with-trail project from Samoa to Arcata, and a rails-to-trail (trail only for now) project between the bay and Highway 101 from Arcata to Eureka.

The key to this museum/tourist train/trail plan is the 1983 federal law that allows unused rail corridors like ours to be "railbanked" -- saved for future passenger and freight train use forever. But in the interim, until rail service returns, the property can be used for a trail and a tourist train....

The upside for those working today on the return of freight service is that the railbanked corridor infrastructure would be preserved and maintained, and the line would be kept whole and unfragmented. With either rail-with-trail or rail-to-trail projects, the liability and maintenance would be transferred to another entity for trail operation, so the project could go forward with non-NCRA funds.

For more information and to register support for the Bay Trail Plan, visit:◼

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

State Parks: Having problems or causing problems?

State Parks: Having problems or causing problems? - Uri Driscoll/For the Times-Standard

We all love our state parks and most of us consider them the crown jewel of our state. However as Martha Walden (”Parks slashing more than budgets,” Times-Standard, June 21, Page A4) and others are pointing out there is an increasingly disturbing trend taking place that is desecrating state park habitats and degrading recreational opportunities in our North Coast district.

I invite folks to take the time to walk the trails and look around the parking areas at Little River State Beach to form your own opinion about whether our nearly $1 million was well spent in a time of severe budget constraints.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Yurok Grift

Questions linger in million-dollar embezzlement scheme after fugitive surrenders - Ryan Burns/The Journal

Former Yurok employee, Eureka biologists allegedly embezzle tribal funds; Del Norte DA's Office said more than $900,000 stolen - Megan Hansen/Times Standard 2/24/2012
A former Yurok Tribal employee and two Eureka biologists are suspected of embezzling more than $900,000 from the Yurok Tribe, according to officials with the Del Norte County District Attorney's Office.
Del Norte County District Attorney Jon Alexander said Thursday that warrants were issued for the arrest of former Yurok Tribe Forestry Director Roland Raymond, senior biologist Ron LeValley with Mad River Biologists and associate biologist Sean McAllister with Mad River Biologists. All the warrants were for $1 million and allege the men committed crimes of burglary, embezzlement and conspiracy to commit a crime.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Neighhhhhh, they say

About 80 equestrian trail advocates “flash mobbed at Clam Beach today,” reports Uri Driscoll. They parked about 35 horse trailers alongside the frontage road between U.S. 101 and Clam Beach/Little River State Beach, and then assembled on foot in front of them with sign boards and a petition. They demanded that Redwood State Park listen to their concerns about a trail project about to get underway along the state’s Little River stretch of the long beach.

“This is the area that State Parks intends to narrow by nearly half and install a two-foot wide bike lane and a horse trail alongside the remaining asphalt,” said Driscoll in an email following the action.

According to the equestrians, there’s a perfectly good horse trail they’ve already been using, and would like to keep using; they don’t want the new trail the state proposes to build — so why spend scarce state money on it?

Driscoll says they invited State Parks officials to come to the action and accept their petition with about 200 signatures, but received no response.
...............Heidi Walters/North Coast Journal Blogthing

Friday, January 13, 2012

ACTION ITEM: Please come to Clam Beach Saturday Jan. 14th at 1 pm

We plan to have a gathering of the horse clan at Clam Beach tomorrow Saturday the 14th at 1 pm to deliver the petition to State Parks personnel and have invited the press. The press seems pretty interested in this and hopefully State Parks will show up.

What we would like to do is have any of you that can bring your horse trailers (and horses if you wish) and park along the west side of the frontage road from the north County Parking Lot (the middle one). This will be easier if you get off at the Crannell exit and come south.

It is mainly for the photo and we would love to show up in force. We will present State Parks with the petition and then we can all go riding. Should be a nice day.

Keep in mind this will carry a lot of weight into the future so please do what you can to show up. We should be done within a half hour or so.

Call your friends and you don’t need a horse trailer.

Uri Driscoll


We Want Trails not Trouble

We as horsemen and women have a long history of building, maintaining and riding our local trails. So why then would so many of us have objections to the equestrian trail project slated for Little River State Beach?

The reason is simply that there is a perfectly fine existing trail that ties into county trails to the south. The new isolated trail would put horses right next to the road with obvious and unaddressed safety concerns. We are also not in favor of tearing up undisturbed habitat when it is completely unnecessary.

In an effort to gain local equestrian support for this project we were told by State Park personnel several years ago at the onset of this project two important things that turned out to be not exactly true. One was that we were “not allowed” to ride where we have been for decades. The fact is State Parks had a no restrictions policy that did not prohibit us from enjoying our horses on long established trails. Second was that we were also led to believe that State Coastal Commission representatives had stated that they would not allow horses on the existing trail slated for pedestrians only. So far State Parks although asked several times, has not provided the identities of those representatives. The two Coastal Commission personnel recently contacted indicated there would not be any problem with shared use. This shared and existing use would not require any new construction.